Louis Menendez is the newest Superior Court Judge for Juneau.
Menendez took the oath on Friday afternoon as administered by Alaska Supreme Court Chief Justice Walter Carpeneti by videoconference from Anchorage.
Menendez was one of five people who originally applied for the seat being vacated by retiring Superior Court Judge Patricia Collins. Menendez was eventually selected by Governor Sean Parnell last May and he starts work on the bench on September 12.
According to information provided by the Juneau court system, roughly 30-percent of the cases handled by Menendez will likely be felony criminal cases, about 25-percent are divorces and dissolutions, and child support and custody cases. The rest is a mix of probate, general civil, child in need of aid (CINA), and delinquency cases.
Since 1995, Menendez has made his mark as a private defense attorney, sometimes taking on high profile cases. His application to the bench also notes spending each summer in the Naknek area defending fishermen ticketed during the Bristol Bay red salmon fishery. Menendez earned his law degree from University of California’s Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco with graduate work at New York University. The start of his law career includes working as a federal public defender in Texas, in civil law in Juneau, and as a state prosecutor in various Alaska communities — interspersed with stints caring for family in Monterey, California and attending New York University Film School.
A public swearing-in ceremony is scheduled for September 30.